Events


Speaker for Martin Luther King Jr. Day Breakfast sees “A War on Black Boys”

by Michelle D. Bernard

Six years after a black family moved into the White House, Bernard, 51, who is black, considers the country more racially polarized than any time she can remember.

A frequent guest on MSNBC and CNN, Bernard said in a phone interview she thinks an anti-Obama backlash is partly responsible for a retreat in civil rights and social justice.

Seeing a black man take charge of the world’s most powerful nation, she said, left a “nasty taste in the mouths of some.”

Bernard will have an opportunity to elaborate when she speaks here Monday, Jan. 19 at the 27th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast sponsored by the Crispus Attucks Community Center, named for a black man killed in the 1770 Boston Massacre.

More than 240 years later, the national spotlight is once again on black men dying at the hands of civil authorities, spurring protests by the Black Lives Matter movement, including a recent die-in at Park City mall.

On cable TV, Bernard has chosen provocative words to express her dismay at the unpunished killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and other black men.

“It is an absolutely deplorable situation that the United States, which is supposed to be the greatest nation on Earth, sits back and allows black boys to be murdered,” Bernard said on MSNBC’s “Hardball” a week after a white police officer shot the unarmed Brown at least six times.

“There is a war on black boys in this country. In my opinion, there is a war on African-American men,” Bernard said on the show.

In a recent phone interview, Bernard didn’t back away from her comments.

“The fact that he was tall and large and allegedly stole a cigarillo doesn’t mean Michael Brown should be shot down dead,” said Bernard, a former Washington attorney and lobbyist. “That to me is war.”

She said she was shaken when her son, while watching the news, turned and said, “Mom, is a policeman going to shoot me?”

“I thought I was going to cry,” Bernard recalled. “No child should feel that way. I would be remiss and irresponsible as a mother if I didn’t teach the reality of the world we live in.”

Stresses education

She said her son’s question prompted a long discussion in which she stressed education.

“From my perspective, if he has equal access to an excellent education and strives for excellence, he will always be safe,” Bernard said. “But I don’t know that to be true for certain.”

Bernard said she once pushed back against criticism that Obama wasn’t doing enough for black America. Now she thinks she may have been wrong.

“Maybe there is more the president can do in his last two years instead of worrying about people who antagonize him,” she said. “Maybe he needs to focus on what’s important for people of color and underserved communities.”

She said more must be done to improve inner-city education, ending “the school-to-prison pipeline, with one minor infraction and you’re in prison.”

Bernard said she doubts having more black officers helps communities living under “a police state.”

“African-American cops can be a problem also if we have a type of police force that’s militarized or looking for any excuse to be cowboys and shoot someone,” she said.

Cheryl Holland-Jones, Crispus Attucks’ executive director, said some will not agree with Bernard, but the theme of her remarks, “The Journey to Justice,” is appropriate given “the series of events that have taken place.”

“The journey we are on is to restore faith in each other,” Holland-Jones said. “Hopefully, her talk will lead us to conversations with some solutions to neutralize the animosity.”

“We hope all our speakers will leave the audience feeling they have been given a mission to move forward and to do something positive in the community in which we all live,” she said.

If you go

Time: 7 to 9 a.m.

Place: Franklin & Marshall College Alumni Sports & Fitness Center

Cost: $70. Scholarships available.

Benefits: Crispus Attucks Community Center.

Emcee: Ron Martin, WGAL news anchor.

Honorary chair: Barbara Hough Roda, LNP executive editor.

Performances: F&M’s I Have A Dream Choir and Music for Everyone Strings at Crispus Attucks.

Event sponsor: Franklin & Marshall

Dream Maker sponsors: Fulton Bank, Hagelgans & Veronis, High Companies, LNP Media Group, NXTbook Media, Steinman Foundation

By JEFF HAWKES | Staff Writer | Posted: Tuesday, December 23, 2014 9:57 am

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12 YEARS A SLAVE Town Hall at Howard University

by Michelle D. Bernard

12YAS

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Reflections on life and politics

by Michelle D. Bernard

MBC13001_Flyer.indd

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Loomis Chaffee Campus News: Michelle Bernard Talks Politics

by Michelle D. Bernard

Michelle Bernard Talks Politics
Posted 10/12/2012 04:45PM

Michelle Bernard, political and legal analyst, author, and CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy, captivated the LC community Friday afternoon with her perspective on the upcoming election and state of politics in the U.S. She spoke to students and faculty about the game of politics and how it has evolved over the last four years. “Politics is getting nastier and nastier,” she cautioned. Constant fighting between the democrats and the republicans has shifted the focus of elected officials to the destruction of the rival party and away from helping people and communities in real need.

Bernard spent time discussing one such community, Berry Farms, in Washington D.C. The community is populated primarily by women – the great majority of whom live below the poverty line, have no access to grocery stores, and no modes of transportation. She told listeners how a resident once said, “I’ve heard stories of women who kill their babies – and I can understand why they do it.” Bernard warned the audience that while the presidential candidates fight for the middle class, there are groups of underprivileged citizens, like the residents of Berry Farms, in desperate need of help.

In response to one student’s question, Bernard explained that the bipartisan political system works in name only. She argued that we need elected officials to do what is best for the country and not what is best for their respective parties. Bernard believes that strict term limits are one way to accomplish this. She proposes one-term restrictions, with no option for reelection. Under this model the president would serve one eight-year term, a senator would serve one six-year term, and a congressman would serve one two-year term. This format would allow elected officials to make decisions and do their job without worrying about reelection and fundraising.

Bernard’s advice to the students: Be informed. She encouraged students to read and watch everything. Understanding all sides of an issue and argument is essential to informed citizenship and good decision-making.

Ms. Bernard will be featured as one of the headliners for the CT Forum’s State of Women 2012 event tonight at 8 p.m. in the Bushnell Auditorium, www.ctforum.org.

http://www.loomischaffee.org/page.cfm?p=872&newsid=3519

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Honoring Nancy Pelosi’s 25th Year In Congress

by Michelle D. Bernard

WEDNESDAY JUNE 6, 2012
11:30AM – DOORS OPEN
12:15PM – PROGRAM BEGINS
SEWALL-BELMONT HOUSE & MUSEUM
144 CONSTITUTION AVENUE NE, WASHINGTON, DC 20002

Rachel Maddow, host of “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC, will speak with Leader Pelosi about her experiences and achievements throughout her notable career.

Special remarks by Michelle D. Bernard, chairman, founder, president and CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy and on the Board of Directors at the National Women’s History Museum.

For more information and to purchase tickets click here

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The Struggle Continues: Parents and Families Education Equality Now Rally

by Michelle D. Bernard

Time:
March 14, 2012
3:00 PM

Place:
Connecticut State Capitol,
Hartford, Connecticut

SPEAKERS:

Michelle D. Bernard
Bernard Center for Women,
Politics & Public Policy

Michelle Rhee
Founder and CEO,
Students First

Kelley Williams-Bolar
School Choice Advocate and
Ohio Parents Union

Download a printable version of the flyer (PDF)

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The Struggle Continues: School Choice and Education Equality Forum

by Michelle D. Bernard

Time:
12:00 PM to 2:00 PM

Place:
Grace Lutheran Church
46 Woodland Street
Hartford, CT 06105

SPEAKERS:

Michelle D. Bernard
Bernard Center for Women,
Politics & Public Policy

Gwen Samuel
Connecticut Parents Union

Kelley Williams-Bolar
School Choice Advocate and
Ohio Parents Union

Faith Leaders, Connecticut
Lawmakers, and Parents

Download a printable version of the flyer (PDF)

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Education Equality Now! Cleveland

by Michelle D. Bernard

Part 1


Part 2

February 26, 2012 at 4:00 p.m.

Trinity Outreach Ministries
Church of God In Christ
12002 Ashbury Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

SPEAKERS
Michelle D. Bernard
Bernard Center for Women,
Politics & Public Policy

Pastor Andrew D. Clark, Sr.
Trinity Outreach Ministries C.O.G.I.C

Kelley Williams-Bolar
Ohio Parents Union

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Kelley Williams-Bolar Joins Michelle Bernard for Education Equality Rally in Cleveland

by Michelle D. Bernard


For Immediate Release
February 22, 2012

Contact:
Christina Jamison-Mozaffari
cjamison@bernardcenter.org
(301) 807-5868

Kelley Williams-Bolar Joins Michelle Bernard for Education Equality Rally in Cleveland

Cleveland, OH: Kelley Williams-Bolar, the Ohio mother who was arrested for “stealing education” and now heads the Ohio Parents Union, will join Michelle Bernard, President and CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics and Public Policy and Pastor Andrew D. Clark Sr. of Trinity Outreach Ministries to rally parents and their children this Sunday, February 22, to become foot soldiers for school choice at an Education Equality rally in Cleveland.

“As we approach the end of Black History Month, it’s important to remember that our civil rights struggle continues,” said Bernard.  “Education equality is the key to raising all children out of poverty and making sure that our future is brighter than the darkest days of our past.”

“We are thrilled to have Kelley Williams-Bolar share the story of her fight for educational equality for her children,” Bernard continued.  “And hosting this event at Trinity Outreach Ministries, where they do so much important work to support their community and the fight for education in Cleveland is an honor.”

Kelley Williams-Bolar served 9 days in jail for “stealing education” in January 2011.  Her “crime” was enrolling her children in a safer school district than the one in which she resided.  Now, Williams-Bolar heads up the Ohio Parents Union, modeled after the Parent Trigger that was started in California.

Ohio is embracing school choice.  The state has provided school choice options since 1995 and has pending legislation to expand some programs.  There are currently 368 full-time charter schools and 27 full-time online charter school programs.  Last January, Governor John Kasich issued a resolution designating January 22nd-28th School Choice Week in Ohio.

Who: Michelle Bernard, President and CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics and Public Policy; Pastor Andrew D. Clark, Sr., Trinity Outreach Ministries; and Kelley Williams-Bolar, Ohio Parents Union

What: Education Equality Now School Choice Rally

When: Sunday, February 26th, 2012 at 4:00pm

Where: Trinity Outreach Ministries, 12002 Ashbury Rd, Cleveland

The Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy is a research and educational institution—a think tank— whose mission is to fundamentally change the terms of the nation’s most critical domestic and foreign policy debates and challenge the American public, policymakers, and the media to discuss those issues.  For more information, please visit www.bernardcenter.org.

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